Posted: February 16, 2004
Author: Jason Kohrs
Startech.com may not be a household name with the performance computing enthusiast, but they offer a wide selection of products that help them back up the assertion that they are “the computer professionals’ source for hard-to-find computer parts”. From cables and wires, to power supplies and networking components, Startech.com has “assembled the most comprehensive selection of parts and related information you'll find from any ISO 9001 Registered manufacturer”. One of the products in their extensive catalog of computer components is the ATXPOW500DF 500W dual fan power supply, provided to BigBruin.Com for this review.
The Startech.com ATXPOW500DF is sold in the detailed, retail-style packaging shown below. All of the surfaces of the box are used to convey some sort of information about this product, so if you have a good look at the box before buying, you should have a good idea of what you’re getting.
Out of the box, the first thing you notice is the color... gold. Definitely unique, but I am guessing it wasn’t designed for aesthetic purposes as it is a fairly dull matte finish, punctuated by numerous stickers providing tech data, quality certifications, and other information that may be of interest to someone. The black circular sticker near the intake fan provides details on the thermally controlled fan settings. The fan speed is automatically adjusted to three settings when the sensor detects rising temperatures.
Taking a look at the above images, it is a fairly standard design, featuring two 80 mm cooling fans with flush mounted gold-colored grills for easy installation through tight openings. The back of the unit features the power connection and switch, while the opposite side sports ventilation slots to improve cooling. The published specifications are detailed in the middle image, and covered in greater detail in the list below.
Specifications (as taken from the Startech.com site):
Output Power: 500W
Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.3 x 5.87 Inches (150 x 85 x 149mm)
MTBF: 100,000 Hours @ 25 C
Fan Type: 2 Ball Bearing
6 x Hard drive LP4 type connectors
2 x Floppy drive SP4 type connectors
1 x 20-pin ATX motherboard connector
1 x 4-pin extended ATX 12V power plug for Pentium® 4
1 x 6-pin aux plug
2 x 15 pin Serial ATA connectors
DC OUTPUT: +3.3V: 30A, +5V : 45A, +12V: 26A, -5V : 0.5A, -12V : 1A, +5V : 2.5A
Enclosure Color: Gold
Safety Approvals: CSA, UL, TUV, CE & FCC Class B
Checking the specifications listed on the “DC OUTPUT” line it is obvious that the various rails of this unit are all fairly strong. In addition to all of the typical power connections, the list also indicates that there are two S-ATA power connections, a definite plus for use now, or in the future when S-ATA becomes more widely implemented.
In addition to the power supply, the items shown below are also included in the package; an instruction guide, warranty card, and the power cord...
The quantity and type of connections were all detailed in the list above, but the following images detail exactly what you get. The below left image shows the three leads that provide seven hard drive type connectors (despite the list indicating 6) and two floppy drive type connectors. The middle image shows the 20-pin ATX motherboard connection sheathed in mesh, the 4-pin 12V P4 connection, the 6-pin auxiliary connection, and a 3-pin fan speed sensing lead. The below right image details the two S-ATA power connections provided on a dedicated line. A nice touch, many units provide an adaptor to add the S-ATA connections to a 4-pin power lead, but these are an integral part of the unit. The one issue I found with the power leads is that all of them have a length of about 18” from the housing to the first connector. Plenty long for most installations, but other units may offer more length before the first connector on some leads in order to satisfy the needs of large towers, etc.
As with every other power supply review I have conducted, I opened the housing in search of potentiometers for adjusting the voltage rail strengths. I did not find any, but the layout was orderly and the components were all clean and at least appeared to be robust. As seen in the below left image, the exhaust fan is a full size 80 mm device, but the intake uses a low profile fan.
Please read on to page two for more on the Startech.com ATXPOW500DF 500W ATX Power Supply... Next
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